social niceties: do they still exist?

Thank goodness for social niceties. If they didn’t form my social interactions, I’d have no friends and be on bad relations with my neighbours. Or perhaps I should say, thank goodness social niceties ‘regulate’ my interactions.

So I like cats. That doesn’t make me a psychopathic, nature-hating, bird-culling, three-headed bigot. Quite the contrary. So please don’t paint me with that brush.

However, I smile sweetly and politely engage in your judgmental hypocrisy while your yapping dog demands my attention and jumps up my leg.

It’s probably true that our little social world would be a mess if we didn’t have a bit of English conservatism to guide our interactions. And I’m not sure I would like to know the harsh truth about what everyone else honestly thinks all the time, but what I find most baffling is, why is it ok for some to disregard the niceties while others of us do not?

What I would have liked to say was, “Well your dog clearly has no manners, and that says more about you than it ever will about me liking cats. Good day, Sir”.

Now that I put it down in black and white, it’s not outrageously impolite. It doesn’t include name calling. Perhaps it all comes down to the niceness scale and where we all sit on it.

I guess the takeaway message here is that if someone enthusiastically tells you about something they like, whether it’s cats or picking their nose, the polite thing to do is say something nice.

queen picking nose

* Image: 

19 thoughts on “social niceties: do they still exist?

  1. I live in the South, where we are supposed to be known for our manners, our hospitality. I am blown away by how rude people have become. It seems it’s all about “me” now. By the way, that pic is awesome!

  2. I have to agree. Even if I don’t like what the other person does, I try to find something polite to say about it. Such as that picture. I think perhaps she has her finger bent and is scratching her nose, don’t you? An unfortunate angle. ; )

    • MuddledMom, you are always so nice about it all, can seem to find good in just about everything! I should watch and learn.

      Me? My politeness has just enough sarcasm that perhaps it requires a different word. When someone’s dog jumps up on my leg, I’m more likely to kick the little dickens all-the-while saying, “That is the cutest little dog I have ever seen!”

      Glad to have found you, Poppins. I enjoy your sense of humor.

  3. While I am a dog lover, and mine would probably jump all over you and give you sloppy kisses, I have to admit that you are probably correct in that my manners, particularly in regards to dogs, are lacking.

    Funny, I still love this post. Clearly you have not offended this reader, and have gained another follower. Good day, Poppins!

  4. Very amusing. I agree with you on the dog issue and I too love cats. I’m not totally opposed to dogs, just get highly annoyed with ill-mannered ones and needless barking. Which with dogs is most barking. I’m looking forward to following you and hearing more of your practically imperfect ideas… ;-)

  5. I agree, I hate when I am buying cat food and people come up to me to tell me that my cats are killing all the wildlife in the Blue Mountains and should be shot! (Has Happen) It kind of makes me wonder if i have a sign on me saying “please be rude”

  6. I feel like Dog people versus Cat people can get as ugly sometimes as the GOP versus the Dems. And it’s only with those two pets. When I say, “I’m a horse person,” people don’t go: “horses are stupid. Fish are the way to go!” And honestly, dog people don’t get much flack. What is it about liking cats? I mean, they are so cute! It’s like judging someone for liking babies!

  7. Bold and true and funny and thought-provoking! I do not quire recall how I found your Blog, but your tone is different, bold as I said, and I am certain this will be a much appreciated new addition to a Weekend Review of Blogs I have been offering our readers. You add a unique look at human nature. I must read your 9 reasons article. A great majority of our readers garden. I can see them smile!! Bye bye for now… ~ Granny

  8. I’ve tried to enjoy dogs, but haven’t seen I was a child. Now I do like dogs, in the sense that I don’t want to see them hurt, and I’m sure you like them too in that sense, but I just don’t
    enjoy being around them. I do love cats. I wonder why, why the distinct preferences so many of us have.

  9. Pingback: Weekend Highlights – Noteworthy Articles by Fellow Bloggers – Mar 31, 2012 « Granny's Parlour

  10. Social niceties help people know how to act when they are not sure what to do. That’s why we teach our kids which knives, forkes and spoons to use and how to set a table and how to write Thank you notes – so they have some guidelines. Unfortunately, we are losing them all too quickly and I double that our children will pass them along…Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  11. Omygoodness…even the Queen picks her nose! *gasp* Found your blog and am passing it on to my daughter who is raising her first bunch (flock?) of chickens. In your gardening post, I noticed a pine tree, magnolia tree, oak tree, and maybe a dogwood? Couldn’t tell. Those are trees we have in NE Texas. Enjoyed reading!

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